Wanderers will make the semi finals, it just depends where they will finish. Interestingly, an away semi final will actually work to Wanderers favour by escaping cavernous Spotless and bringing the crowd closer to the game.
It is better for Western Sydney to have a few thousand in Melbourne or Brisbane than 14,000 spread around a showground and the away days in Red and Black are always special for supporters and players alike.
With Sydney Premiers and Melbourne Victory as second, it is places 3 to 6 which are of interest. As WSW will be one of the other teams, i will look at the other 3. If we play a home semi then so be it, this analysis on worst cased scenario of having to travel.
Melbourne City: We just beat this team on the weekend and if they were to host us at AAMI they would hardly be intimidating. As Melbourne is close by, it would also be a relatively cheap and quick away day so the Bloc would be large.
Brisbane Roar: If the Roar were playing a home Grand Final it would be full, for a home semi they would hardly get 20,000. Their assistants have received bans which will interrupt them in the run in also.
A little further to travel but as 2014 proved, Western Sydney isn’t afraid of the sunshine. Interestingly we have played the Roar in Semi Finals in 2012 and 2016, winning both. We have of course lost the GF to them in 2014 meaning a game vs them would be a blockbuster.
Perth Glory: This is the team from a fans and players perspective that would best be avoided. For fans the expense of getting to Perth and Perth itself would mean few would travel ensuring it would be a full house of Purple.
For the players it is 4 hours of sitting still not including transfers, far from an ideal preparation for the biggest match of the year. Perth Glory would be hard to beat over there, they have a good Semi Finals record, but we would dearly love to meet in the Grand Final instead.
Clearly the easiest option out of the 3 is Melbourne City, the best game of football would be vs Brisbane and the hardest assignment would be Perth.
In the Semi finals if we finish 6th then we would get the Premiers Sydney FC. This match would likely be played at the Allianz but in front of half our fans, basically a home final.
If we finished higher and escaped being lowest winner we would play Melbourne Victory in the semi final at AAMI and if successful likely return to ANZ for a Grand Final vs Sydney FC.
This would be the dream outcome for the FFA as they get the entire gate from the Grand Final. As they moved the 2013 GF from Parramatta to make more money, they will do the same again if given a derby Grand Final.
Wanderers 10 draws this season are flanked by 7 win and losses a piece, for all the lamentation of our season and calls to axe the manager, we haven’t being playing that poorly.
We just haven’t been playing well.
But who cares, with just 6 possible matches left, in the A-League, Wanderers have hit form at the exact right time.